A NEW DIRECTION FROM BELOVED NOVELIST DAVID MORRELL: A HISTORICAL THRILLER WITH LITERARY ROOTS. Thomas De Quincey, best known for his sensational memoir Confessions of an Opium Eater , is the prime suspect in a series of horrific murders that paralyze London. The killer seems to be... read more
Crime fiction. Historical fiction. Thriller. Police procedural. All can describe Murder As A Fine Art by David Morrell, author of at least twenty-nine novels and six non-fiction books, including First Blood and Rambo. Despite his success as an author, Murder As A Fine Art is my first... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
Crime fiction. Historical fiction. Thriller. Police procedural. All can describe Murder As A Fine Art by David Morrell, author of at least twenty-nine novels and six non-fiction books, including First Blood and Rambo. Despite his success as an author, Murder As A Fine Art is my first experience with Morrell.
The book, set in 1854 London, was inspired by the works of author Thomas De Quincy, who is most well known for a series of essays Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, which was later published as a book. The essays are autobiographical, and tell the story of a life lived mostly while addicted to opiates. At the time, in Victorian England, a book so open about addiction and life's hardships was very rare. However, it was the essay entitled On Murder Considered as one of the Fine Arts, in which De Quincy satirically detailed a series of murders in 1811, that inspired Mr. Morrell's novel.
Mixing the De Quincy's account in On Murder with De Quincy's experiences described in Confessions, Mr. Morrell wove an intricate web of fact and fiction to produce Murder As A Fine Art. In it, there is a murder of a shop-keeper and his family that appear to be copies of the 1811 murders. Coincidentally, the murders occur as De Quincy, who normally lives in Edinburgh, is in London promoting his work. London Detective Inspector Ryan suspects De Quincy after learning that the crime scenes are so similar to the book written by him, particularly because of the passion, knowledge, and lightheartedness in which On Murder is written. However, Det. Inspector Ryan quickly comes to believe differently and works hard with De Quincy, his daughter Emily, and ambitious London Constable Becker to find and stop the real killer.
1. The Artist of Death
2. The Man Who Concealed His Red Hair
3. The Opium-Eater
4. "Among Us Are Monsters"
5. The Sublimity of Murder
6. The Patron of Gravediggers
7. A Garden of Pleasures
8. The Year of Revolution
9. The Separate System
10. In the Realm of Shadows
11. The Dark Interpreter
12. The Education of an Artist
13. The Inquisition
14. The Woman of Sorrows
15. An Effigy in Wax
16. A Sigh from the Depths
Afterword: Adventures with the Opium-Eater
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